5 Book Balancing Tips for Small Business Owners

5 Book Balancing Tips for Small Business Owners

Are you a small business owner who struggles to keep your books balanced? Do you feel like you’re too busy juggling all the other responsibilities of managing the day-to-day operations? If so, you’re not alone. Bookkeeping can be tedious and intimidating, but with the right tips and tricks, it doesn’t have to be a struggle. We share some of our favorite bookkeeping tips for small businesses, so read on and start getting your books in order!


1. Separate Your Personal and Business Expenses

Mixing your personal accounts and business accounts is asking for trouble. Skip any confusion and create separate bank accounts. Having a dedicated business account provides a clearer picture of your business cash flow allowing you to track expenses more easily. Solely using credit cards for all business transactions is a great way to stay on top of expenses as cash payments can easily be overlooked.



2. Pay Attention to Receivables

Every business likes to get paid but managing those payments isn’t as much fun. Marking an invoice as paid when payment is received seems easy, but all too often customer payments are left to reconcile at a later date. It’s important to keep track of your transactions as they happen. Applying customer payments weekly will save you time and money – and a big headache come tax time.



3. Pay Yourself a Salary

While paying yourself may not be the first thing that comes to mind as you’re building a business, if your business earns enough money, it should be. Paying yourself a salary is an excellent way to keep your business and personal life separate and keep your books in order. Rather than having business pay your personal expenses, have them write you a check that is deposited into an account just for those payments.



4. Log Expense Receipts

The importance of keeping business receipts cannot be overstated, as they help you keep accurate records for your taxes and lend credibility to any tax reporting. Whether it’s buying dinner for a client or paying to create a new logo for your company, all purchases should have some type of receipt with them so you can keep an accurate record of all business expenses.



5. Hire a Professional

Too many small businesses struggle with the day-to-day tasks of keeping their books, and it’s a problem that can be easily avoided. Your business requires your full attention as you grow it into something amazing—outsource these tedious jobs so you have more time to focus on what really matters, making money!


As a small business owner, you have to be mindful of your accounting and finances. These tips will help make bookkeeping less daunting and ensure that your business is on the right track financially.

Hiring an Accountant vs. Using Accounting Software

Hiring an Accountant vs. Using Accounting Software

There are many different options for accounting and it can be difficult to decide which is the best for you or your business. You can hire an accountant to do your books or you can use accounting software. Each has its own pros and cons, and it helps to understand them before making a decision. In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of hiring an accountant vs. using accounting software. Hopefully it will help you decide which option is right for you!

Hiring An Accountant

Hiring an accountant is a good option for businesses that don’t have the time or resources to do their own accounting. An accountant can help you with everything from bookkeeping to tax preparation. They will keep your books in order and make sure you are compliant with all applicable laws. Hiring an accountant also gives you someone to rely on for advice and support. A main benefit of hiring an accountant is the time it saves. You can focus on other aspects of your business and personal life instead of working on your finances for hours on end. 

However, It can also be difficult to find an experienced accountant who is knowledgeable about your specific industry. Additionally, you are limited to the services that the accountant offers. If you need help with something that the accountant does not offer, you will have to find someone else to help you.

Using Accounting Software

Using accounting software is a good option for businesses that want to do their own books but don’t have the time or resources to hire an accountant. The software gives you access to all of your financial information in one place, which makes it easier for you to keep track of what’s going on with your business and make decisions based on that information. 

However, using accounting software can be very time consuming and difficult to learn. You need to be able to understand financial statements in order to use the software effectively. If you don’t have any experience with accounting, it will take some time to learn how to use the software and understand what the statements mean. Additionally, you are responsible for entering all of your financial information into the software, which can be a time-consuming process. If you find yourself struggling with the software, it is wise to consider hiring an accountant.

In conclusion, both hiring an accountant and using accounting software have their own pros and cons. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of each option before making a decision. If you use accounting software, make sure that the software is easy to learn and use before purchasing it. This will help ensure success! 

If you hire an accountant, make sure that you hire someone who is knowledgeable about your industry and has experience working with businesses like yours. We pride ourselves at Motl Accounting on helping various types of businesses and individuals with their taxes. Whether you need accounting or payroll services, we can help. The most important factor when it comes to your finances is peace of mind and we offer that to our clients. 

Need help with your business finances or personal taxes? Contact one of our experienced professionals at our West Dundee location to get the help you need.

Benefits of Paying Taxes Quarterly

Benefits of Paying Taxes Quarterly

Many individuals are familiar with filling out W-4 forms provided by their employers to file taxes. Business owners, self employed individuals and contractors however don’t fill out traditional W-4 forms. They are professionals who might receive income without taxes taken out right away and are therefore expected to make payments quarterly. According to the IRS, you are expected to make quarterly estimated tax payments if the following apply.

  • You expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax for the current tax year after subtracting your withholding and refundable credits.
  • You expect your withholding and refundable credits to be less than the smaller of:
    • 90% of the tax to be shown on your current year’s tax return, or
    • 100% of the tax shown on your prior year’s tax return. (Your prior year tax return must cover all 12 months.)

Simply put, if you know you are going to owe a good amount of money, it’s beneficial to pay your estimated taxes. Here are a few reasons why.

Penalties

No one likes penalties and paying your taxes each quarter prevents that. Per the IRS if you owe over $1,000 you could be penalized for underpayment of your taxes. Knowing the exact figure could be challenging and hiring an accountant could help in estimating how much your payments should be. Your accountant should have all the right numbers and processes in place to give a figure to pay that should prevent you from underpaying your taxes.

Tax Bill

Paying your taxes quarterly let’s you avoid the potential surprise of a larger tax bill during tax season. Not paying could lead to having a large and unexpected bill at tax season. Paying your taxes quarterly can give you peace of mind knowing you aren’t likely to get an unexpected bill. This might be a task to deal with every quarter due to the nature of your business and how busy you are. If that’s the case, consider hiring an accountant who can assist you. For all you know, the cost of paying penalties could be more than what an accountant might charge to help you.

Efficiency 

Paying your estimated taxes each quarter should give a good overview of your books and less stress in managing your accounting. This is where a bookkeeper comes in handy as they can provide insights on your accounting through the year. Tax season is less of a headache when you’ve been managing your books and making quarterly payments throughout the year. 

In conclusion, the benefits to paying your estimated quarterly taxes can make life easier and provide you peace of mind. Quarterly taxes are typically due on April 15, June 15, September 15, and January 15, for the current calendar year. Most accountants and bookkeepers are aware of these dates and should work with you to get your payments in on time as needed. 

Want to know more about how accountants and bookkeepers can help with your taxes and grow your business? Contact one of our professionals here at Motl Accounting. We assist businesses and individuals with their accounting needs and look forward to assisting you. 

Tips to help with your taxes in 2021

Tips to help with your taxes in 2021

Prepare to file your taxes in 2021 with these in mind!

Many businesses and families went through unexpected changes in 2020. The effects of the pandemic upended financial plans, forecasts, family plans, business goals and much more. This undoubtedly will have an impact when filing your 2020 taxes due to changes in the tax code for 2021. With COVID-19 came stimulus checks, programs like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and more depending on your business or personal need. We’ve been assisting businesses and families with their accounting and tax needs through the pandemic and will provide you with some tips to prepare you for filing your taxes this year. 

Organize Records and Documents 

For many, the main hurdle is getting documentation together. It’s important to have all your documentation in order to have a seamless filing experience. Keep all the tax documents that start coming in the mail early January in a folder and do not throw out any tax document that may look irrelevant. Many tax documents can also be downloaded online depending on the provider of the documents in case you can’t locate them. For example, many financial institutions provide tax documentation that can be viewed and downloaded when you access your account. 

Review and Itemize Transactions for your Business

Whether you are self-employed, have a side business or own a home, you’ll need to ensure your transactions are correctly documented to claim certain deductions. The pandemic led to many working from home and you may be entitled to write-offs as a result. If you use a software like QuickBooks or use a spreadsheet for your records, take the time to review the transactions and put them in their respective categories. This will help your tax preparation process greatly. The benefits of having an accountant who assists with monthly bookkeeping is advantageous, as the monthly management of your books throughout the year keeps your transactions correctly labeled. This prepares you better for tax season and makes things easier for you and whoever is assisting with filing your taxes.

Note Life-Changing Events

Many life-changing events happen year over year, but have been commonly happening since the beginning of the pandemic. Changes like getting married, getting a divorce, a death in the family or retirement may qualify you for tax breaks. Your accountant or tax preparer should be aware of any life-changing event so they can help determine which tax breaks you qualify for based on how your circumstances changed in 2020. 

Here are a few things to consider to help prepare for filing your 2020 taxes. Having an experienced tax preparation service can be helpful due to the changes in the tax code. Finding the right tax forms or knowing what to fill out due to the changes caused by the pandemic can be confusing. It’s advisable in these uncertain times to consult with an experienced accountant or CPA to ensure you are getting the most out of your taxes, while being compliant under the current laws. 
Motl Accounting can handle the most complex returns providing you the peace of mind you would want through the experience. If you are looking to prepare your taxes, you can talk to a tax professional at our West Dundee location to get your questions answered and your taxes filed properly.
Contact us at 847-426-2100 or send us message via our Facebook Page to get started today.

Why You Should Separate Your Personal and Business Finances

Why You Should Separate Your Personal and Business Finances

When it comes to running a business, it’s important to keep your personal and business finances separated. This reduces accounting and tax problems and makes it much easier to manage your accounting books. Running a business already takes a great deal of effort, so it helps much to not have additional stress by managing your finances with bookkeeping tools and experts. We understand how important it is to properly manage your finances and the peace of mind that comes with it. We have helped over a hundred businesses with accounting and bookkeeping in the Chicagoland area and have gathered some reasons as to why you should separate personal and business finances to have a better understanding.
  • Establish your business
First off, you will want to ensure that your business is incorporated. Whether you choose to present it as an LLC, C Corp, or S Corp, you will want to ensure that it’s established with the right structure. By establishing a separate legal entity for your business, you will be able to protect your personal assets from your business debts, losses and lawsuits.
  • Acquire business credit
By opening business debit or credit cards, you won’t have to use your personal accounts for business transactions, and it’s the easiest way to keep your personal and business finances separate. In addition, a business credit card can help you build stronger business credit scores and could even boost your borrowing power which could help you qualify for business loans with lower interest rates.
  • Open a business checking account
In addition to credit cards, you also want to open a business checking account and only make purchases for your business through it. Doing so let’s you have a clear and complete picture of your expenditures, which is ideal for when tax time rolls around as all you will have to do is review your statements. 
  • Create a salary for yourself
Seeing as you are the boss of your business, you will want to make it official. So, pay yourself. By creating a salary for yourself, you can write checks from your business checking account which can then be deposited into your personal account. This way, you can easily keep track of your payroll finances and ensure that your salary is being professionally handled as it should be.
  • Keep your receipts
One of the most efficient ways to keep your personal and business expenses separate is by keeping your physical receipts. So pull out those old-fashioned folders and place your receipts within them or upload them digitally. This will help with audits if the IRS ever comes knocking on your door, you can feel confident that you will be prepared.
  • Track your shared expenses
As a business owner, it’s important to keep in mind that many of your business expenses are tax deductible and you will most likely have some expenses to write off! As a result, when you make purchases you will want to ensure that they are separate from your personal ones, which can be done by using your business debit or credit cards. Not only will separating your expenses make things easier for your accountant come tax time, but you will also be protecting yourself by keeping a financial record and continuing to keep receipts.
  • Using personal items for business purposes
When it comes to your business, any expenditure that you can legally write off should be written off to save you money when tax time comes around. By working with a tax advisor, you can determine what’s deductible as well as how to keep the right records. Properly managing your business finances is certainly of importance! These are just a few helpful ways to manage them throughout the year. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the complexities that are involved with running a business and managing your books. Working with an accountant can help with your bookkeeping, payroll and taxes and therefore make life and work much easier for you. Looking for an accounting solution that’ll provide you with peace of mind when it comes to your books?  Get in touch with us here at Motl Accounting as we would be ready to assist. Our staff at our West Dundee, IL office assist many small to medium sized businesses and we look forward to assisting you.